Footballers owed money
29 November 2021 | Sports
Life for the vast majority of Namibian footballers, both male and female, is a far cry from the glitz and glamour of those lucky enough to play in the world's top leagues or even for the national team.
Football is the most popular sport in Namibia, but the country's star players are far from being treated like royalty. Maybe in other countries, but here in Namibia, forget it, and this all boils down to one thing - money, or rather lack thereof.
For the longest time, I have written about players not being paid, not having contracts with their clubs, or not even playing football altogether because of infighting.
Last week yet again, female footballers came forth to speak about money owed to them for national duty. These ladies already don’t get game time, now when they train hard to represent the country, they don’t get paid. The Namibia Football Association (NFA) has no money!
The financial woes of the NFA are tiring. What is priority really?
This is a very sad situation. Fifa has halted financial support to the NFA – this I believe because of the ongoing infights between football leaders.
One faction of NFA tells Fifa one thing, the other part tells Fifa something else. List of what the NFA needs the money for was provided, Fifa was told by the NFA head that that list is a botch, and so Fifa refused to fund the NFA. Who suffers? Of course, the players.
It’s really a mess. Imagine being unable to pay rent, buy food, or even toiletries. The frustration that comes with being told, yes, we owe you money, but we don’t have it, that’s really ridiculous. But this has actually been coming for the longest time. It didn’t start with the current football leadership. Women footballers are always owed something. Some left with the NFA still owing them money. This is serious crime. But here in Namibia, people just get away with things.
Imagine Zenatha Coleman, instead of focusing on playing club football, is fighting the NFA on social media for money. And rightfully so, she is in the right position to be the voice for her teammates.
This is not a player who went rogue, but a frustrated player. Players should be prioritized. It doesn’t matter what the situation is, and not because of this wage issue only, but in the long run. Serious consideration needs to go into alleviating the plight of female footballers.
I maintain that players should play football, that is where their duty starts and ends. Administration on the other side should focus on ensuring that their wages are paid.
It goes hand in hand. But now players are threatening to quit the national team. We already don’t have enough women footballers and players are being victimised for just asking what rightfully belongs to them.